I try to use this weekly article to discuss current events relative to Israel, Judaism, and our community. I like to keep pace with the rhythm of Jewish life, but I also like to mix up my approach. I was thinking that this week I need a positive message.

But, to be fully transparent, I’m really struggling to be positive. The horrors of October 7 are too fresh, and we continue learning about new atrocities. Hamas is still holding our hostages. Rockets are still coming into Israel. I fear that we are not done with casualties. The crisis in Israel is staggering. The antisemitism around the world and especially on our college campuses is rampant. 

With that as the backdrop, I’ll try to be positive. 

1. Jewish unity is peaking. I’m not sure that I ever remember it being this strong.   

2. Our community’s financial response has been tremendous. We raised $600,000 since last week’s email bringing our campaign to over $1.1million. We now have a very generous offer on the table from a donor who has promised a $200,000 gift as soon as our campaign hits $1.3million. We still have work to do, but this response is definitely positive. 

3. The response from many of our non-Jewish friends is certainly encouraging. We have teens from one of our local parochial schools going door-to-door with lawn signs helping us bring awareness and raise money for victims.  Religious leaders are sending us words of consolation. At last night’s annual Interfaith Alliance dinner, we saw a beautiful display of mutual heartfelt sorrow that was very much appreciated. 

Finally, please mark your calendars for Thursday evening. Hank Greenberg spent the past few days in Israel on a special solidarity fly-in with 24 Federation leaders from around North America and will present his findings to us in our second community-wide rally on Thursday, November 2. Details are being finalized now and will be forthcoming. For now, save the date. This will be an important program and we hope to see everyone there.